BEIJING, Feb. 15 -- An experiment has found that the
movie which most gets audience's emotional empathy racing is Romeo and
Juliet, starring Claire Danes and Leonardo DiCaprio, according to Daily
involved wiring up 1,000 volunteers to electrodes to measure their heart rate
and blood pressure as they watched various films.Researchers found romantic
scenes triggered the "mirror' neurons, causing the viewers to experience the
same emotions as the characters.
The volunteers - equal numbers of both sexes - had to
wear a cap fitted with 20 wired sensors called EEGs, or electroencephalograms.
They were then shown significant ten-minute clips
from movies as their responses were measured.
Nearly 20 per cent had a surge in heart rate when
they were shown scenes of Romeo and Juliet dying in the 1996 movie by Baz
Twelve per cent had the same reaction to the ending
of Casablanca, which came second in the study by DVD rental service
And 10 percent were swooning when Patrick Swayze
returned from the dead to woo Demi Moore in Ghost.
Women showed a greater response to the romantic
Patrick Swayze's epic performance in Dirty Dancing got film-goers crying(Photo: China Daily)
Their heart rates soared on average from 65 to 130
beats per minute at key moments, but men's rates rarely topped 100.
Dr Lewis said: "We only tend to see men's pulses
really racing when they are shown action films like Die Hard."
Neuropsychologist David Lewis, of the Mind
Laboratory, said: "By mirroring inside a person's head what is unfolding before
their eyes, neurons enable movie fans to unconsciously experience the intense
"This means if a plot involves romance, viewers will
experience the same response as if it was happening to them.
"The more romantic the movie, the more physically and
emotionally aroused viewers become as mirror neurons go into overdrive.
"In addition, powerful chemicals related to
amphetamines will be released into the blood, producing the giddy high often
experienced with romance.
"Mirror neurons are a relatively recent discovery,
but they help us develop empathy.
"They are why people get moved to tears or get
excited by what they are seeing, because they become emotionally involved."
(Source: China Daily/Agencies)